Walter "Big Train" Johnson
(From Nationalspride.com - Posted by Mark Hornbaker on May. 15, 2009 at 6:23 AM)
On May 15, 1918 Washington Senators' pitcher Walter "Big Train" Johnson pitched a Major League Baseball record *18-inning complete game shutout, to defeat Claude "Lefty" Williams and the Chicago White Sox 1-0.
The fans at Griffith Stadium were treated to one of the greatest pitching duels in baseball history. After 9-innings the game was far from being over as the Big Train and Lefty found themselves in a 0-0 pitching duel. After 8 more innings the two teams were still locked up at 0-0.
In the bottom of the 18th inning the Big Train helped him-self when he registered the Senators eighth base hit off of Lefty. The single by the Big Train sent the Senators' Eddie Ainsworth to third base. Maybe due to fatigue Lefty Williams went on to pitch a wild pitch to the next batter that allowed Ainsworth to score the winning run. This record breaking game only took 2 hours and 47 minutes to play.
Here are few things to note from this game.
* Claude Williams and Walter Johnson pitched complete games.
* There were no errors committed in the game.
* There were no substitutes during the game.
The shutout pitched by the Big Train was only one of the eight that he will pitch during the 1918 season. The Big Train went onto lead the Major League's in the following categories in 1918.
* Wins: 23
* Strikeouts: 162
* ERA: 1.27
* Shutouts (tied):8
In 1918 the Big Train also won the American League's and Major League's Pitching Triple Crown. Winning the Triple Crown was nothing new to the Big Train as he won his first one in 1913. In 1924 the Big Train will record his 3rd American League Triple Crown.
* Carl Hubble tied Walter Johnson's 18-inning complete game shutout Major League record in 1933.